With just a day to the December general elections, independent global market research firm DaMina has reinforced its research findings which indicate a first-round win for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Friday’s polls.
According to DaMina, managed by Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, a Ghanaian based in the United States, the NPP’s winning margin would be as wide as 400,000 votes more than the NDC.
The research released on Monday, December 3, 2012 and made available to DAILY GUIDE, is an update of an August finding that made similar predictions.
“With four days before polls open in Ghana, Africa’s most competitive democratic state, DaMina advisors reiterate its August statistical forecast that the opposition centre right New Patriotic Party (NPP) is on course to likely win about 52% in a first round vote clincher and defeat the ruling centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC), after only one term in office,” stated Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, the chief analyst of DaMina.
DaMina used two statistical models—data from the 2010 population census and the Electoral Commission’s voters’ register— to project its findings.
In both models, the outcome was markedly similar, indicating wins for the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“With all these statistical revisions done, the outcome of the race is still essentially the same – as DaMina advisors forecast in August, 2012 – a likely 52%/ 53% win for the opposition NPP and a likely 47%/ 48% loss for the ruling NDC,” explained Mr. Spio-Garbrah, the son of NDC stalwart Ekow Spio-Garbrah.
DaMina is a well recognised and independent research and consulting firm with a special focus on African capital and commodities markets.
The research firm also has several key African personalities as senior advisors including Lord Paul Boateng, Ghanaian-born former Member of the British Legislature, Dr. Babacar Ndiaye, former President of the African Development Bank, Kabine Koroma, former Guinean Prime Minister and Bismarck Riwane, former advisor to late Nigerian President Musa Yar’ Adua.
In the DaMina research, the NPP would sweep four regions out of the 10 regions in the country, namely; Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions. These are easily the most populous regions beside the Greater Accra Region, leaving its main opponent, the NDC to subdue the six remaining regions with a comparatively smaller population size except Greater Accra Region.
According to DaMina, the NPP’s bulk of voters would come from the Ashanti Region where it would bag more than 1.5 million voters, 78 percent of total votes against the NDC’s projected 439,000 votes, 22 percent of votes expected from the region.
In Greater Accra, the race for supremacy between the two biggest parties would be close, although the NDC’s John Mahama would pick up the ultimate edge over his NPP opponent.
The NDC is expected to sweep Greater Accra with approximately one million votes while the NPP would hover a little around 900,000 votes in the region.
In total, Spio-Garbrah’s DaMina estimates overall votes averaging 5.2 million for the NPP, while the NDC would clinch 4.6 million votes.
The NPP’s votes would mostly be bolstered from its stronghold in the Ashanti and the Eastern regions, while the NDC would mostly rely on its dominance in the Greater Accra Region that holds the highest number of registered voters.
The NDC’s stronghold, the Volta region, cannot match the NPP’s in sheer numbers.
DaMina is expecting voter turnout to remain relatively unchanged from the 2008 elections at approximately 71 percent. Since 1992, overall national voter turnout has increased, peaking in 2004.
In the heat up to the December elections, several polls and counter polls have popped up, giving mostly conflicting claims. While some are tipping the NPP for victory, others are also betting on the NDC.
Research firms such as Research International, Synovate polls, Geolink Partners Incorporated, DaMina and a research by US-based Ghanaian professor of Statistics, Prof. Adu Bonna, have all predicted marginal wins for the NPP. The Economist Intelligence Unit and a certain US-based pollster, Jeff Link, are also predicting wins for the NDC.
The most ambitious prediction is the recent one done by Jeff Link’s Link Strategy (LLC), which predicts that the NDC’s John Mahama would win by 53.2 percent against NPP’s 39.3 percent of votes.
Given the closeness of the 2008 elections, where the winner won by barely one percent after a second round, experts think it would be a miracle for the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo to drop from about 49 percent of total votes in 2008 to 39.3 percent, particularly after his highly popular free education policy and his door-to-door campaign that ran for more than a year.
Mr Spio-Garbrah acknowledged the effectiveness of Nana Akufo-Addo’s door-to-door campaign.
Silver Lining for NDC
Meanwhile, research envisages that there could be a chance for the NDC to clinch a win if the election drags into a second round.
According to DaMina, the second term would be dependent on whether the other smaller parties would be able to muster up to two percent of total votes cast that day.
DaMina believes that in the event of a runoff, the incumbent would have an upper hand as it would use its incumbency to gather the requisite resources to win the elections while its overstretched opponent would “scramble” for resources.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran